The Travel Convention 2014

This year, the UK travel industry’s flagship event was held in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana.

Coming into the convention, ABTA LifeLine had a big target. We wanted to help Zach, the three year old son of a former travel agent. Zach has an inoperable benign brain tumour, multiple genetic disorders and is fed through a peg in his stomach. As well as being diagnosed with autism, Zach has lost all of his skills and language. His rare condition means that he needs a calm and soothing environment, which is where ABTA LifeLine comes in.

We needed to raise £10,000 in order to build Zach a sensory room.

The fundraising literally kicked off with a charity football match between White Hart Associates and Lowcostbeds. You could feel the competitive tension as both teams began warming up. We saw some good ball skills and enthusiastic goal attempts, but by the time the final whistle blew, it was a 3 – 0 victory to White Hart Associates.

The next day, business sessions got underway and our Zach appeal was launched. Delegates got behind the appeal with some immediately pledging one off donations, and others joining the £1 per employee appeal. Thanks to Classic Collection Holidays, Hoseasons Holidays. Hays Travel, Bellair Holidays, Barrhead Travel, Shearings Holidays, ASB Law, Elman Wall, Travel Weekly, Travel Trade Consultancy, Midcounties Co-operative, TUI, Kuoni, All Leisure Group, Martin Randall Travel, Iglu.com, Sunvil Holidays and Touchstone Underwriting for pledging their support.

Fundraising continued throughout the day and on into the evening at the host party where we held an auction and a prize draw, aiming to reach that all important £10,000.We had some fabulous prizes including a holiday to Lapland donated by Thomson Holidays, two cruises donated by Cunard and Royal Carribean International and club class flights to Kuala Lumpur donated by British Airways, along with a two night stay in the Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur donated by the Intercontinental Hotels Group. Huge thanks also go to Kunoni Travel, Resort Marketing International, Visit Slovenia and Google for donating prizes to the Grand Prize Draw, and Touchstone Underwriting for sponsoring the auction and the draw.

We were overwhelmed with the amount of support ABTA LifeLine received in Ljubljana. Thanks to the travel industry’s generosity we raised a whopping £17,000 for Zach and others in our industry who have fallen upon hard times.

To find out more about Zach’s appeal, please see our video: